On May 14th 2011 the day arrived when Manchester United moved ahead of Liverpool in league titles, mind you it has taken them since 1878 to do it. It dawned on me recently how much of an achievement it was for Liverpool to amass such a haul of 18 titles for such a small club compared to the size of Manchester United, which makes me a very proud Liverpool fan indeed.
In 1985 and 1989 Liverpool Football club suffered two catastrophic tragedies in Brussels and Sheffield which rocked our foundations so badly the effects can still be felt amongst our passionate supporters today. I won’t bring that up again as I’m sure you’re all well aware of what took place, plus this is meant to be a positive piece! I haven’t got a crystal ball but the future history of football was massively changed as a consequence, with Liverpool about to enter a period of uncertainty and change without their leaders Sir John Smith and Kenny Dalglish. Losing two people who steered Liverpool to massive success’s was a hammer blow and took 20 years to rectify. Meanwhile, Manchester United got things right and went on to dominate. Liverpool were about to enter a league title barren spell of 20 years and counting, but after a turbulent period of self inflicted torture (The Gillett and Hicks farce) we are finally ready to compete at the top again.
Structurally, we can now go head to head again with the other big boys. With the new owners, great management team in Kenny Dalglish, Steve Clarke and Sammy Lee, anything seems possible. The supporters have been unified and galvanised beyond belief as the time has come to challenge once again – something we never expected to feel earlier on in the season!
We flirted briefly with winning the Premier League title under Gerard Houllier and Rafa Benitez but neither delivered with negative tactics plus abolishing tried and trusted methods of ‘pass and move football’ which brought us titles galore in the past. Both of whom eventually departed, thankfully. After the disastrous appointment of Roy Hodgson was rectified, the man who should have got the job he was yearning for was finally appointed. Kenny Dalglish came to our rescue to take his seat at the helm of his beloved club. With the ink still wet on a three year deal the talk of Premier League titles has begun, once again. In Kenny we have a man with all the credentials to end the barren run before we reach twenty six, yes twenty six years without a league title. Here’s a statistic that gets overlooked though – the ‘great’ Manchester United went without winning a league title before they won it in 1993.
As for the future, I can see Kenny trying to recreate the class of 88. With big Andy Carroll backed up by Suarez, signing either Ashley Young or Stewart Downing to compliment the two and improve the service to Carroll would take the side to the next level – A bit like John Barnes did for John Aldridge all those years ago. Charlie Adam could be the ‘new’ Ray Houghton in this new Liverpool jigsaw too. It worked so well in the late 80’s and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Kenny Dalglish attempt the same formula this time round, hopefully ending the domination of Manchester United and Chelsea.
Liverpool for the title next season?
By John Colfar – Liverpool fan